The ceremony was brief, but significant. To applause from numerous convention attendees, Botswana was confirmed as the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2017. The presence of two of Botswana’s high-ranking representatives, Minister of the Environment Tshekedi Stanford Khama II and Thabo Brian Dithebe, CEO of the Botswana Tourism Organisation, who both signed the agreement, was proof of how important this partnership is for this nation in southern Africa. Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, and David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, signed for Messe Berlin. According to Minister of the Environment Tshekedi Khama II of Botswana, “The Botswana Tourism Organisation has taken the opportunity to become the partner country of ITB Berlin 2017 in order to share Botswana’s nature conservation achievements with the rest of the world and to raise general awareness of this country.”
“Africa’s best-kept secret“ is how David Ruetz described the future partner of ITB Berlin. This year, Botswana will be celebrating 50 years of independence. Often referred to as one of the last remaining gems of Africa, the country was quick to realise its potential as a tourism destination. The Republic of Botswana has been exhibiting at ITB Berlin every year since 1984, in an aim to make people around the world aware of its special attractions. Next to the diamond industry, the most important branch of the economy, the tourism sector currently already accounts for five per cent of GDP.
Hall 20/Stand 131